With the Enforcement Directorate under the Union Finance Ministry tightening its noose around the ruling Trinamool Congress over the Saradha chit fund scam, the state government Sunday hit back at the Congress-led UPA government with state Finance Minister Amit Mitra putting Union finance minister P Chidambaram in the dock.
The ED, which has already arrested Saradha chief Sudipta Sen’s wife Piyali Sen and his son Subhojit Sen, Sunday summoned Subhojit’s wife Priyanka for questioning. But in an embarrassment for the ruling Trinamool Congress, the central agency also sent notices to three others including Arpita Ghosh, playwright and TMC candidate from Balurghat, a politician from a neighbouring state and a former police official.
Ghosh confirmed to The Indian Express that she had indeed received the notice. “The ED has asked me to submit all papers of the channel Ekhon Samay that was owned by the Saradha Group. I was the executive editor of that channel. That channel never went on air. However, I will submit the papers after elections are over,” Ghosh told The Indian Express from Balurghat.
Meanwhile Amit Mitra, who addressed a press conference at Trinamool Bhavan, asked why the CBI or the Centre took no action when Saradha chief Sudipta Sen, now in jail, mentioned the name of Nalini Chidambaram, wife of Finance Minister P Chidambaram, in his letter to CBI.
“Enforcement Directorate is being used for political gains by the Union finance minister who has got only 26 days left in the office. No government has ever done what we have done to provide relief to those affected by the scam. We passed a bill (chit fund bill) but that has not yet received the assent of the president. We would like to know what happened to the 2G scam and coal scam? Let the truth come out in those scams. (Congress vice-president) Rahul Gandhi is coming to Bengal for campaigning but he is not aware of what we have done (regarding relief for Saradha losers) so he is speaking untruth in his rallies,” Mitra said.
At Balurghat, Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roy went one step further, accusing Rahul Gandhi of stealing the money involving the 2G and coal scams. “In the 2G scam about Rs 2.76 lakh crore money changed hands. How much share Rahul Gandhi has got? In the coal scam too about Rs 2 lakh crore was involved. How much has Rahul got out of it? Why has ED not asked Rahul Gandhi,” Roy asked.
Meanwhile, former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee reiterated the need to properly investigate as to where all money realised by the Saradha group had gone. “Everything will come out after investigations start,” he said.
State Congress chief Adhir ranjan Chowdhury also alleged that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was scared of a CBI inquiry. “She knows that a lot of TMC leaders will have to go to jail and that is why she is saying all nonsense,” Choudhury said.